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Wedges Play Role In Treating Fetlock, Joint Injuries

A routine morning check-up sent this couple on a mad dash to save a 16-year-old mare

Amidst the green pastures and expansive sky of an area in Bolar, Va., Landon Vaught and her boyfriend, Jody Colaw, made their morning rounds through a mountain pasture to check their horses. They soon found Molly, their 16-year-old Quarter Horse, with a serious injury.

“We knew something was wrong as soon as we saw her,” said Colaw, who approached the three-legged lame horse and found what he thought was a large splinter sticking out of her fetlock. When he reached down to examine the splinter and dislodge it, he discovered the real problem.

“We found her with a small piece of metal that went in her fetlock and curved back out like a hook,” explains Vaught. “It came out a couple inches below the upper puncture.”

Serious Puncture Wound

The majority of the metal, which looked similar to a nail without a head, stuck out through the top puncture wound. When Colaw examined the injury, he didn’t notice the lower puncture wound and thought he could carefully pull the foreign object out. But when he pulled the metal out, joint fluid followed. The couple knew the case had turned serious and rushed the horse to Dr. C.J. Ceglowski at the Westwood Animal Hospital in Staunton, Va.

With these types of equine accidents, it is essential for veterinarians and farriers to have an open line of communication and deal with all the complications, including the need for proper footcare.

Radiographs were taken to make sure no other metal or foreign objects…

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